- For the poolish
- 00 flour 200 gr • 517 kcal
- Water 150 ml
- Brewer’s yeast 15 gr
- For the challah
- 00 flour 500 gr • 517 kcal
- Eggs 3+1 (to brush) • 130 kcal
- Extra-virgin olive oil 60 ml
- White sugar 75 ml • 392 kcal
- Salt 20 ml • 1 kcal
Challah is the traditional Jewish braid-shaped bread, similar to the brioche bread, made with flour, water, eggs and yeast. It is eaten during the Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest that is celebrated every Saturday. According to tradition, it is not possible to mix milk and meat because these two ingredients come from animals, and for this reason Jews eat this semi-sweet bread.
Pour the flour into a large bowl and slowly add the water in which you have previously melted the yeast (2). Knead with your hands until you get a smooth dough (2). Let the dough rise until it is doubled and then put it in a large bowl and knead it with the sugar (3).
Add the sifted flour and continue to knead (4). Add the eggs one at a time, let the egg be absorbed by the dough and then add another one (5). Slowly pour the extra-virgin olive oil, continuing to knead at low speed (6).
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and continue kneading by hand it until it is completely smooth (7). Then, divide the dough into four uniform parts (8). Form four loaves more or less of the same thickness and length and unite them at one end (9).
Braid gently the four loaves and unite also the other end (10). Then put the braid on a casserole coated with baking paper and let it rise for at least 3 hours (11). Brush the Challah with beaten yolk, covering the entire surface. Cook at 180°C in a pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes.
- Preparing poolish is not mandatory but it will help you in the yeast activation and in the process.
- Add sugar little by little, so the dough will absorb it and will also dissolve its crystals.
- Sift the flour in order to avoid lumps.
- Add one egg at a time so that the dough absorbs them completely and it does not collapse.
- Add the oil in a constant flow, so that it can be uniformly incorporated.
- Complete the dough by constantly working it by hand to form the gluten mesh and making it elastic.
- Divide the dough into equal parts so that you get loaves of the same size.
- Let the braided dough rise for at least 3 hours so that it will double.
- You can brush the surface with whole eggs, just yolks or yolks mixed with a bit of milk to get a crispy colored crust.
- Before slicing and serving it, bring the Challah to room temperature.
You can keep Challah for two days by holding it in a paper bag, and storing it in a cool and dry place.